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Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Ron Cey

Eligible in 1993.

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 27, 2006 at 05:17 AM | 56 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 27, 2006 at 05:22 AM (#2269133)
Reminds me a lot of Heinie Groh, except the latter's offense was much more valuable since third basemen didn't hit during his era, which then destroys the comparison for me.

With that said, I like him better than Garvey.
   2. zonk Posted: December 27, 2006 at 03:28 PM (#2269283)
I'm not a HOM voter (so does that make this an illegal comment?)...

But since Cey (along with my nom de Primer handle) was my favorite player growing up, I do feel a bit compelled to speak on his behalf.

I'm not necessarily advocating him for the HOM, but I think he was a terribly underrated player, overshadowed because his career overlapped 2 of the best 3B in history (3 if you include his decline phase overlapping with Boggs)... Heck, even his TOPPS rookie card was unbuyable by this fan because he shared it with Schmidt (a forboding of things to come, I guess). Short, slow, and bowlegged - were there a HOM for players who far outstripped their pure physical skills, I'd say Cey would be a first ballot shoo-in. Despite a number of inuries - including a memorable beaning by the Goose in the '81 WS - he was a 'gamer', for whatever that's worth.

In his favor, though...

He did finish with an OPS+ of 121 - and did it with a remarkable consistency. He was a sure-handed fielder - I believe he set an NL record for consecutive errorless games at 3B in 1984 (though, of course, his range by that point was fall down left/fall down right). 6 time all-star. Key cog on the good Dodgers teams of the 70s and HR/RBI leader of the '84 Cubs.

Alas, he didn't really have a strong peak - so peak voters won't give him a second look, and his 10-12 years of being good-but-not-great probably aren't enough for the longetivity guys...to say nothing of career totals being only somewhere between good and pedestrian.

I think he stacks up pretty well against Ken Boyer -- who IS a HOMer -- though Boyer certainly had a better peak and was almost certainly a better defensive 3B.

I hope Cey at least gets a long look - I think he's a top 20-30 all-time 3B, though that's probably not good enough for a HOM spot.
   3. sunnyday2 Posted: December 27, 2006 at 04:30 PM (#2269323)
At the time, of course, Garvey was the star of that long-serving IF combo. Now I think most people would see Cey as the best of the four. James has him #16 at 3B, and Garvey #31, Lopes #23 and Russell #69 at their respective positions. I'm lookin' at Cey somewhere around #50s-60s. Garvey is #90s-100s, right on the borderline of the top 100 with Hodges, Vernon and Fournier. Lopes and Russell have never been in my top 100.

But we do have a deep backlog of 3Bs and several more on the way.
   4. zonk Posted: December 27, 2006 at 04:50 PM (#2269337)
I'm lookin' at Cey somewhere around #50s-60s

Won't ask for the complete list... but just to toss out a couple names, and curious about your thoughts on a simple above/below Cey basis - using BJHA as a guide:

Nettles (James ranks him just above Cey at 13) - I'd take Cey over Nettles -- other than Nettles 76/77, Cey had more or less equal power numbers (and a higher career SLG) and a better eye. Probably close even with the leather.

Buddy Bell (James has him 20). I think Cey, easily.

Larry Jones (James had him 28 at the time of publication). Jones is probably a better bat -- though in a better park, and in a higher offense period. Cey's obviously a better glove.

Bill Madlock (james has him 48). Cey

Doug DeCinces (james has him 38). Cey

Gary Gaetti (james had him 34). Cey


I stuck with more or less contemporaries, as I'm certainly not versed enough to normalize for era... but I think Cey shakes out very favorably against all of them -- and while he's nowhere near the big 4 of Brett, Boggs, Schmidt, and Matthews -- I still think he's somewhere in the upper half of the group that occupies that area between the elite and the second half of the top 100.
   5. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 27, 2006 at 05:04 PM (#2269343)
I hope Cey at least gets a long look - I think he's a top 20-30 all-time 3B, though that's probably not good enough for a HOM spot

I think Cey is on the outside looking in, but that doesn't mean that he's that far away from the "line." He definitely deserves close scrutiny from us, something I haven't done yet for him. He's certainly better then we thought he was during the '70s, that's for sure.
   6. zonk Posted: December 27, 2006 at 05:07 PM (#2269345)
BTW... John... is it kosher for a non-voter to participate in these threads?
   7. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 27, 2006 at 05:15 PM (#2269355)
BTW... John... is it kosher for a non-voter to participate in these threads?

Sure, zonk. Any relevant info or analysis is always welcome. Heck, even sometimes when it's not relevant. :-)

I'm lookin' at Cey somewhere around #50s-60s

Won't ask for the complete list... but just to toss out a couple names, and curious about your thoughts on a simple above/below Cey basis - using BJHA as a guide:


Marc/sunnyday2 meant that he had Cey around #50s-60s among all active candidates from every position, zonk, not among all third basemen from baseball history.
   8. sunnyday2 Posted: December 27, 2006 at 06:26 PM (#2269405)
That's right, John.

Zonk, you did leave Paul Molitor and Darrell Evans off your list, and both would be ahead of Cey, quite safely in fact. In the current backlog, Sal Bando would be one of the more recent candidates and possibly the #1 3B candidate right now. In WS, Bando leads Cey 283-282, but for peak Bando is waaaay ahead. I think Bando pretty clearly beats Cey as well. And I am pretty sure I'd take Nettles as well.

I think I would take Cey over Bell and the rest of the guys you mention (well, except for Jones, too soon to tell).

As I said, James has Cey at #16. I think that's a bit too high, but I say that largely because James' timeline is waaaaay too steep and so I would rate guys like J. Collins (James has him #17), Leach (#20), Groh (#21), McGraw (#26), and maybe Larry Gardner (#29) and certainly Ed Williamson (#45) and maybe Lyons (#42) and Nash (#49) ahead of Cey. He would probably come out about #23-24-25 then, but relative to the more contemporary candidates your list (other than Nettles) seems about right.

HoVG.
   9. zonk Posted: December 27, 2006 at 06:30 PM (#2269408)
Ahh... OK...

Thanks -

For whatever it's worth, I put together a table below (mainly because it's a slow day at work, but also because I thought it would be interesting for purposes of comparison). I used OPS+ and RCRA/27 - mainly because they're readily accessible and they are metrics I understand and am relatively comfortable with - both career-wise and then also took the best "10 consecutive year" slice for each player. Granted - for some players, it was a subjective 10 year slice, but to be honest... the only players that really might have an arugment for a different 10 consecutive years are players everyone already recognizes as inner circle elites (Schmidt, Brett, Mathews... though Sutton would have benefitted from more of a 6 years - skip 3 - plus 4, etc).

These are all the 3B you've elected to the HOM thus far -- plus Boggs, Schmidt, and Brett, who I assume will be more or less no-brainers when their time comes. Beckwith and Jud Wilson are obviously missing....

What jumps out at me -- though I was nominally familiar with Heine Groh -- I think you're spot on in the comparison. I'd throw Stan Hack into that class, too. None of the 3 ever really had an eye-popping 2-3 years -- just a consistent run of consecutive good but not really 'great' seasons. Obviously, there are 4 (or 4 1/2, depending how big a Baker guy you are) names on this list that are far and away above the rest... but Cey looks like right at home with the rest.

FWIW-
Baker      RC/27  OPS+ 
Career     5.95   135 
1909       5.40   147 
1910       4.53   126 
1911       7.28   149 
1912       8.63   174 
1913       7.94   167 
1914       6.17   151 
1915       NULL   NULL 
1916       5.32   130 
1917       4.61   116 
1918       5.44   129 
 
Boyer  
Career     5.78   116 
1956       6.27   123 
1957       4.54    94 
1958       6.48   121 
1959       7.30   130 
1960       7.54   143 
1961       8.15   135 
1962       6.24   115 
1963       5.81   124 
1964       6.38   130 
1965       4.14    91 
 
Collins  
Career     5.15   113 
1897       7.63   126 
1898       6.91   140 
1899       4.52    90 
1900       5.12    96 
1901       7.15   142 
1902       6.1    123 
1903       5.43   126 
1904       4.11   110 
1905       4.37   121 
1906       4.37   119 
 
Groh  
Career     5.08   118 
1913       4.59   107 
1914       4.83   120 
1915       4.59   123 
1916       4.94   131 
1917       5.92   148 
1918       5.90   143 
1919       6.25   150 
1920       5.09   122 
1921       5.76   121 
1922       4.23    81 
 
Hack  
Career     5.81   119 
1936       5.57   111 
1937       5.34   105 
1938       6.88   129 
1939       5.26   103 
1940       6.69   132 
1941       6.83   142 
1942       6.16   142 
1943       5.10   118 
1944       4.72   105 
1945       6.67   132 
 
Mathews  
Career     6.88   143 
1953       9.59   171 
1954       9.15   172 
1955       9.10   172 
1956       7.00   143 
1957       7.79   154 
1958       5.47   120 
1959       8.72   167 
1960       7.83   165 
1961       7.93   153 
1962       6.64   137 
 
Robinson  
Career     4.51   104 
1960       4.98   108 
1961       4.65    97 
1962       6.01   125 
1963       3.84    89 
1964       7.03   145 
1965       5.71   124 
1966       5.13   124 
1967       4.86   125 
1968       4.35   117 
1969       3.90    92 
 
Santo  
Career     5.95   125 
1963       5.85   129 
1964       8.45   164 
1965       6.94   146 
1966       8.03   161 
1967       7.30   153 
1968       5.02   126 
1969       6.58   131 
1970       6.14   115 
1971       5.21   107 
1972       6.85   138 
 
Sutton  
Career     4.69   119 
1875       5.04   140 
1876       4.88   140 
1877       4.37   110 
1878       2.48    68 
1879       2.75    82 
1880       2.88    93 
1881       4.23   114 
1882       3.28    95 
1883       6.75   148 
1884       7.24   163 
 
Brett  
Career     6.66   135 
1976       6.65   145 
1977       7.23   143 
1978       5.81   123 
1979       8.11   148 
1980      12.41   202 
1981       6.46   144 
1982       7.08   141 
1983       8.19   158 
1984       5.59   120 
1985       9.88   178 
 
Schmidt  
Career     7.01   147 
1974       7.62   158 
1975       6.45   142 
1976       6.68   151 
1977       7.79   152 
1978       5.44   122 
1979       7.42   154 
1980       8.59   170 
1981      10.36   199 
1982       7.79   162 
1983       7.20   156 
 
Boggs  
Career     7.04   130 
1982       6.95   128 
1983       8.57   150 
1984       6.37   125 
1985       8.61   151 
1986       8.73   157 
1987      10.84   173 
1988       9.18   168 
1989       7.23   143 
1990       6.03   121 
1991       7.43   140 
 
Cey  
Career     5.42   121 
1974       4.73   113 
1975       6.16   138 
1976       6.33   143 
1977       5.30   113 
1978       5.94   133 
1979       6.97   142 
1980       5.23   122 
1981       6.32   144 
1982       4.69   111 
1983       5.51   118 
   10. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: December 27, 2006 at 06:35 PM (#2269413)
In my system Cey scores highly...he'll be definately on my ballot, maybe as high as top 10. Normally I like to a see a 3-year average over peak of 10 BP WARP, but Cey has, IIRC, a stretch in which he had 9 BP WARP in 6 out of 7 seasons (and a 7ish in the off-season, which ain't shabby). Cey kept on popping up high in my system as I've been trying to go more quantitative, and when I looked closer at his stats I understood why. He's a very, very strong candidate, and I urge the electorate to look past both the contemporary assessment of Cey AND the CW among the saber community...he deserves better.
   11. zonk Posted: December 27, 2006 at 07:01 PM (#2269436)
...my last post on Cey -

He should also get points because very few nicknames were as fitting as "Penguin"... sheesh did he waddle - he didn't have a homerun 'trot' -- he had a HR waddle.
   12. OCF Posted: December 27, 2006 at 08:59 PM (#2269492)
On body types and sports:

There's a certain expected relationship between height and the length of limbs. Most people who are a certain height have arm length clustered around a certain number; just a few have noticeably longer arms or legs or noticeably shorter arms or legs.

Having unusually long arms for your height is an obvious and major advantage to a basketball player, and it may help in a few other sports. Having unusually long legs is probably an advantage in some parts of track and field (perhaps the high jump?). But are short arms and short legs ever an advantage? They may well be for a baseball position player, especially an infielder of a catcher. Short arms make for a more compact swing, make you harder to tie up with an inside pitch. Short arms may make for a more efficient throwing motion, with a quicker release (which would matter for an infielder). Short legs would tend to make a player slower, which isn't good, but would also put an infielder - or a catcher - closer to the ground, which may be a good thing.

Ron Cey was the "Penguin" in part because he had arms and legs that were shorter than you'd expect for his height - and that may well have been to his advantage.
   13. zonk Posted: December 27, 2006 at 09:52 PM (#2269529)
Short arms make for a more compact swing, make you harder to tie up with an inside pitch.

Good point. Cey was exceptionally quick - I remember an anecdote in some pitcher's biography that I've long forgotten, where said pitcher talks about the first time he faced Cey and thinking to himself (paraphrasing) what a joke sending this dwarf to the plate against him. Tried to jam him inside, and BOOM - double off the left-center gap.

Cey also had good wrist action - again, likely made better by the short arms - and while he was aging anyway by the 84/85 season, he had wrist problems that really sapped his swing. Sitting in the bleachers in a 1986 game - I remember a grizzled old bleacher vet complaining that Cey needed to either find himself a new pair of wrists or find himself a new job (which was crushing to a 12 year old who has a big penguin fan!).
   14. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 27, 2006 at 10:15 PM (#2269555)
Quack, quack, quack!
   15. karlmagnus Posted: December 27, 2006 at 10:37 PM (#2269586)
Madlock looks significantly better to me (more hits, higher OPS+). I hold no brief for either player, both being NLers whom I didn't see much, but why is Cey better?
   16. OCF Posted: December 27, 2006 at 11:42 PM (#2269635)
I've been voting for Bando and Elliott, and dismissed Harrah after last year. At this point, just for offense, I've got Cey as similar to Harrah and a step behind Bando and Elliott - in particular, both Bando and Elliott have a "big years" advantage over Cey. Cey is a better defender than Harrah of course - but he won't make my top 15. Not sure about my top 30.

Madlock? Haven't worked him up yet. I'll have to get back to you on that one.

The 1970's Dodgers - assembled under Walter Alston, continued under Lasorda - were a masterpiece of team construction, and especially of matching the team's characteristics to the ballpark. Dodger Stadium was a pitchers park, but it did not suppress home runs - it lowered batting averages. It was a hard place to run an OBP and BA based long-chain offense - you won with home runs. So the 70's Dodgers had a low-average, HR-based offense with the power threats distributed throughout the lineup. And when Bill James wrote his article about the "devil's theory of park effects" - the tendency for teams in hitters parks to have below average offenses and above average pitching, and vice versa - he specifically exempted the Dodgers, noting that the organization was smart enough not to be satisfied with a pitcher's ERA that would look good in another park. The infield was stable - not great on defense, necessarily, but they survived. Russell was no HR threat but Lopes did pop a few. The outfield cast rotated, but there were always some good hitters out there: Wynn, Smith, Baker, Guerrero, Monday. They did usually seem to be short a CF, but note that Dodger Stadium CF isn't that hard a position to play.

Of course the real key was the prodigious flow of pitching talent that came through that place, even guys that the Dodgers underutilized who found more sucess elsewhere (Hough, Stewart). They had Sutton, John, Messersmith; they came up with Sutcliffe and Welch and Fernando. The bullpen was always solid (that includes the Mike Marshall workhorse year).
   17. OCF Posted: December 28, 2006 at 12:09 AM (#2269660)
Madlock 40 39 39 31 31 22 22 17 10  9  8  3  3  3-11
Cey     41 40 39 35 24 23 20 17 17 17 11  9  5  3  1  0 
-


Reasonably closely matched as offensive players, with Cey lasting a little longer. (Don't forget that Madlock played in more favorable offensive circumstances.) Cey was a better defensive 3B than Madlock. File Madlock with Harrah, and that's outside my top 30.
   18. dlf Posted: December 28, 2006 at 12:34 AM (#2269676)
Good point. Cey was exceptionally quick - I remember an anecdote in some pitcher's biography that I've long forgotten, where said pitcher talks about the first time he faced Cey and thinking to himself (paraphrasing) what a joke sending this dwarf to the plate against him. Tried to jam him inside, and BOOM - double off the left-center gap.


I believe that was Bill Lee's "Wrong Stuff" when he talks about playing against Cey in college.
   19. zonk Posted: December 28, 2006 at 01:17 AM (#2269704)
I think you're right, dlf... I was thinking it might be the Spaceman, but I couldn't quite reconcile how Lee would have a Cey anecdote -- since Lee went to USC and Cey to Washington State -- makes sense.
   20. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 28, 2006 at 02:59 AM (#2269734)
I see Cey kind of similar to Bando and Murcer - why is he better? Is he better?
   21. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: December 28, 2006 at 03:16 AM (#2269738)
I see Cey kind of similar to Bando and Murcer - why is he better? Is he better?

Not only is Cey better, but it's not even particularly close. Using BP's numbers (since I'm on vacation and they're handy):


Career (with 100 career WARP1being the approximate in/out line):

Cey: 95.4
Bando: 80.8
Murcer: 73.8

So Cey can be thought of as Bando+2001 Barry Bonds.

In terms of best 5 seasons, Cey whoops Bando's ass. And best 3 seasons. And best consecutive 3 seasons, and 5 seasons. Murcer obviously has the best 2 year peak of the group, but we all know about Murcer, right?
   22. Juan V Posted: December 28, 2006 at 03:20 AM (#2269740)
I like Cey, I'm pretty sure he'll be somewhere on my ballot. He ranks a little better than Bando or Boyer in my OPS+ system, because of a better non-prime. And, his fielding (at least by FRAR/FRAA) is a lot better than Bando's.
   23. jimd Posted: December 28, 2006 at 03:24 AM (#2269741)
Cey and Bando are almost identical twins at the plate
(Cey a little better at WARP1, though the DH/league quality adjustment narrows that, net 16 BRAA/BRAR at WARP2).

5431 outs .290 EQA Cey
5438 outs .287 EQA Bando

Cey was a much better fielder (53 to -24 FRAA), despite a brutal decline with the Cubs.

During their primes, I'd definitely take Cey over Bando, and it might be enough to get Cey on my ballot, though I haven't finished working it all through my system.
   24. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 28, 2006 at 03:51 AM (#2269749)
Wow, I didn't realize Cey was that much better as a fielder, I'd only been looking at the hitting so far, which seems very close to me, with Cey having a very slight nod on career and Bando being ahead on peak - before adjusting for the DH hurting Bando.

I still think they are closer than WARP1 would have you believe.

WARP3 adjusts for the DH (WARP1 does not, I believe and that narrows the gap to 96.6-83.2, I suppose the fielding difference could be that big.
   25. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 28, 2006 at 03:53 AM (#2269750)
I give Bando the nod on peak offense because Cey never hit as well as Bando did in 1969 or 1973.
   26. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 28, 2006 at 04:05 AM (#2269754)
So Cey is Bando, but with an above average glove - hmmn . . . that is a pretty good player.

What about Cey vs. Vern Stephens. When you adjust for schedule, you get about a 2 season advantage for Cey.

Cey .290 EQA, about 8600 'neutralized PA' (from bbref)
Stephens .280 EQA, about 7600 'nPA'

Using nPA adjusts for the strike(s) and for the shorter schedules during Stephens' time.

Both of those EQAs are using WARP3, so it accounts for a war discount for Stephens.

Stephens .572 OWPct (.444 pos AVG)
Cey .586 OWPct (.502 pos AVG)

That doesn't discount Stephens for the war - but he's got a lot of room for error - you'd have to drop him all the way to .528 for them to be even.

Cey good 3B, Stephens average (+8 FRAA) SS

So Cey was a better hitter, but Stephens was a better hitter for a 1940s SS than Cey was for a 1970s 3B. On the other hand, Stephens was a better fielder (he played SS), but Cey was a better fielding 3B than Stephens was a SS.

I think I'd probably take Cey based on the extra 2 seasons, but it's very close - I do think Stephens was a better player when on the field.

Still that's better than I realized Cey was.
   27. rico vanian Posted: December 28, 2006 at 04:22 AM (#2269765)
including a memorable beaning by the Goose in the '81 WS


I remember seeing that when it happened, it was very scary, it looked like he was dead for a minute.
   28. Alex meets the threshold for granular review Posted: December 28, 2006 at 05:03 AM (#2269783)
But are short arms and short legs ever an advantage? They may well be for a baseball position player, especially an infielder of a catcher. Short arms make for a more compact swing, make you harder to tie up with an inside pitch. Short arms may make for a more efficient throwing motion, with a quicker release (which would matter for an infielder). Short legs would tend to make a player slower, which isn't good, but would also put an infielder - or a catcher - closer to the ground, which may be a good thing.


Bill James addresses this in his comments on Kirby Puckett in the NBJHBA, citing the aforementioned and guys like Cey and Yogi Berra.
   29. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: December 28, 2006 at 06:59 PM (#2270057)
I think we all agree that we'd rather have Cey than Garvey were we the GM of a team and we were offered the chance to take one of 24 year old versions of each in trade. And I think we'd all prefer to take Cey over Russell. So, here's the question: would anyone take Lopes (as a 24 year old) over a 24 year old Cey?
   30. DavidFoss Posted: December 28, 2006 at 07:06 PM (#2270067)
So, here's the question: would anyone take Lopes (as a 24 year old) over a 24 year old Cey?

Lopes was repeating A-ball at age 24 (Daytona Beach of the FSL). His rookie season was age 28. His 1973-79 prime (ages 28-34) is not too shabby though.
   31. KJOK Posted: December 28, 2006 at 07:51 PM (#2270130)
Nettles (James ranks him just above Cey at 13) - I'd take Cey over Nettles -- other than Nettles 76/77, Cey had more or less equal power numbers (and a higher career SLG) and a better eye. Probably close even with the leather.

Buddy Bell (James has him 20). I think Cey, easily.

Larry Jones (James had him 28 at the time of publication). Jones is probably a better bat -- though in a better park, and in a higher offense period. Cey's obviously a better glove.

Bill Madlock (james has him 48). Cey

Doug DeCinces (james has him 38). Cey

Gary Gaetti (james had him 34). Cey


While I think Cey is under-rated, I would disagree with this analysis.

Both Nettles and Bell were SIGNIFICANTLY better fielders than Cey, and they had longer careers, which could push them slightly ahead of Cey overall.

Plus Darrell Evans is easily ahead offensively and defensively, and then there's this guy named Schmidt, so Cey could rank as low as 5th just for the 1970's.

If you expand to 1960's-70's, you add Santo, Brooks Robinson, and Boyer ahead of him.

If you expand to 1970's-80's, you add Brett, Boggs, and Molitor ahead of him.

He's your typical 'hall of the very good' player, so can't see him making my ballot.
   32. KJOK Posted: December 28, 2006 at 07:59 PM (#2270141)
And if my point wasn't clear, it's that I look very heavily at performance vs. peers, and if I'm going to have a 3rd baseman on my ballot, it's going to be one that was near the top of their peer list, guys like:

McGraw
Leach
Traynor
Elliott
etc.
   33. Chris Fluit Posted: December 28, 2006 at 08:40 PM (#2270178)
In response to the chart in post #9:

Just looking at RC/27, I noticed that Ron Cey's best season was 6.97.
A quick comparison to the others:
Baker, best: 8.63, seasons over 7: 3
Boggs, 10.84, 8
Boyer, 8.15, 3
Brett, 12.41, 6
Collins, 7.63, 2
Groh, 6.25, 0
Hack, 6.87, 0
Matthews, 9.59, 8
Robinson, 7.03, 1
Santo, 8.95, 3
Schmidt, 10.36, 8
Sutton, 7.24, 1

zonk admitted that Cey doesn't compare favorably to the top four of Boggs, Brett, Matthews and Schmidt. But Cey doesn't even compare favorably to the middle group of Baker, Boyer, Collins and Santo. So Cey is only comparing favorably to the bottom third of Groh, Hack, Robinson and Sutton.

Taking a closer look at that bottom third group: three of the four players played before WWII. Yes, it's somewhat of an arbitrary cutoff but it is notable that all four of the 3B-men in the top group played after WWII as well as 1/2 of the middle group. When compared to his contemporaries- those who played after WWII- Ron Cey comes up quite a bit short. Of the post-WWII group, Cey trails all seven of the others and only comes close to Brooks Robinson. But Brooks Robinson wasn't elected because of peak rate stats- he was elected because of longevity (Robinson has 1392 career runs created to 1127 for Cey) and defense (Robinson absolutely crushes Cey in any defensive measure). So the only contemporary player Cey can match for peak is Robinson and Robinson wasn't elected because of his peak.

Of course, the real comparison isn't to the players already elected, it's to the players still on the ballot:
Elliott, best: 8.03, over 7: 4
Traynor, 8.55, 3
Kell, 7.30, 2
Leach, 6.12, 0
Again, Cey compares favorably to only one player and again, that player played before WWII.
   34. OCF Posted: December 28, 2006 at 08:56 PM (#2270202)
Chris F: I have to question the usefulness of raw RC/27 without correcting for league scoring and for park effect. Take Boyer, for instance: you give him a top RC/27 of 8.15. (The source I've been using all along, a Stats Handbook, has 7.72) That was in 1961 - a big-scoring year, and Boyer was playing in Sportsman's Park at the time, a big hitter's park. Cey's peak was in Dodger Stadium in a lower scoring time than that. And Traynor - you know about offense in his time, right? I have Cey as a better offensive player than Boyer - to be honest, although I did vote for Boyer some, I wasn't a big booster. As I said above, I don't see that Cey clearly separates himself from the likes of Elliott and Bando and I doubt that he makes my top 15, but the raw RC/27 isn't a good argument.
   35. rawagman Posted: December 28, 2006 at 09:29 PM (#2270231)
A case like Ron Cey's is so vital to this project, because while it's obvious that he isn't a NB, he is very close to many of our in-out lines.
There is a position scarcity thing - although not as much in his "era."
He was a good hitter and a better than average fielder.
I have him in the mid-late 20's (3rd among 3B's). That's probably a bit too low to ever make it past my own personal backlog.
I don't doubt that he requires a lot of serious consideration.
   36. shoewizard Posted: December 28, 2006 at 09:40 PM (#2270242)
Just for fun I looked up Cey's "neutralized stats" . He gets a nice bump in OPS from .799 to .841

Interesting comparison:

Matt Williams Neutralized: .828 OPS 414 HR 1334 RBI + 4 gold gloves

Ron Cey Neutralized: .841 OPS 347 HR 1310 RBI + Zero Gold Gloves.
   37. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 28, 2006 at 10:41 PM (#2270318)
I wasn't a huge Boyer fan - I had him ranked in the 30s when he was elected.

But I don't really see how Cey is any different. In terms of being consistent, I think Cey should merit serious consideration from anyone that was on Boyer's bandwagon. Cey was a better hitter, and not quite as good in the field, but still pretty good. Boyer may have had a slightly higher peak, but not much higher, and career length is the same.

If Boyer, why not Cey?
   38. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: December 28, 2006 at 10:56 PM (#2270333)
I just hope that Cey isn't pushed too far into the backlog when we catch up withthe project. It is hard to really argue position scarcity right now because we know that Schmidt, Brett, Boggs, Molitor, and Da. Evans all likely electees. With those 5 3B doesn't seem quite as underrepresented.

BBut I will sayt hat Cey does comparable favorably with the guys we currently have. Right now I would rank them

McGraw
Rosen
Leach
Elliot
Bando
Traynor

Cey is either #4 or 5 in that group. In the running, IOW.
   39. Chris Fluit Posted: December 28, 2006 at 11:13 PM (#2270343)
OCF, I was only using RC/27 as a measurement because that's what was used in the chart in post #9. That poster claimed that the chart showed that Cey looks right at home on that list. I disagree. A quick eye-test shows him short. If other measurements show him closer, that's something else. But even by the measurement being used by a Cey supporter, Cey doesn't measure up.

And I don't think I'm too far off regarding Cey compared to someone like Mark Shirk, the voter formerly known as jschmeagol. I'm not as much as a peak-ster as Mark is so my list is a little different, but I also have Cey about 5th for eligible third basemen.
   40. Boots Day Posted: December 28, 2006 at 11:37 PM (#2270359)
Plus Darrell Evans is easily ahead offensively and defensively,

Cey's career OPS+ is 121. Evans's is 119. Evans has the edge in career length, but Cey played 500 more games at third base than Evans did.

Evans' sole advantage over Cey is really his five or so years as a 1B/DH. As third basemen, Cey was clearly the better of the two.
   41. DavidFoss Posted: December 28, 2006 at 11:40 PM (#2270365)
Cey's bb-ref link above actually points to Phil Niekro's discussion page. John/Joe, when you have a free moment, could you fix that? Thanks.
   42. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 28, 2006 at 11:47 PM (#2270371)
Fixed.

Thanks for pointing it out David.
   43. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: December 28, 2006 at 11:51 PM (#2270373)
People have disparged Cey by comparing him (unfavorably) to Nettles. I hasten to argue that Nettles is a VERY strong candidate. 100 career WARP1, A solid peak with 2 seasons at or above 10 BP WARP, and a nice 9-year prime (averaging out above 7 WARP1, without a real stinker in the bunch. Nettles is a grotesquely underrated player, and IMO, above the in-out line by a large enough margin so that there's room in the HoM for 3B's who weren't as good.
   44. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 29, 2006 at 01:01 AM (#2270452)
I tend to agree on Nettles 'zop . . .
   45. jimd Posted: December 29, 2006 at 01:40 AM (#2270490)
I tend to agree on Nettles 'zop

And I tend not to agree.

Cey was the better player during their primes. His offense trumps Nettles' outstanding glovework. From there, it's a question of whether the extra career overcomes that advantage. Not for me, but I know that many career-first voters will have a different answer.
   46. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: December 29, 2006 at 03:30 AM (#2270555)
Cey was the better player during their primes. His offense trumps Nettles' outstanding glovework.

Can you quantify this? FRAA loves, and I mean, loves Nettles glove, putting him practically in the Brooksmazzie(Brooks, Mazeroski, Ozzie) category of infielders. I grant that this might be an overrate, but James' rating of Nettles in the NBJHBA (and his fawning description of Nettles' D) suggests that he and Win Shares largely concur. If you see Nettles ans Ken Boyer's defensive equal, than I doubt you can justify keeping him out of the HoM.
   47. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 29, 2006 at 04:57 AM (#2270624)
I don't know that the offense does trump the glovework, especially after adjusting Nettles for the DH.

Lining up the WARP3s . . .

Cey      10.5  9.6 9.2 9.1 9.0 8.9 7.1 7.0 6.6 6.2 3.9 3.5 2.9 2.0 0.9 0.4 -0.1
Nettles  10.7 10.2 8.9 8.4 8.2 7.9 7.4 6.8 6.2 5.9 5.6 4.5 3.6 3.3 2.4 2.4  2.2 1.2 0.9 0.4 0.0 
-0.3 


BTW, it blows my mind that Graig Nettles is 62 years old - don't know why that jumped out at me. Because by extension that means I am not young anymore. Bummer.
   48. sunnyday2 Posted: December 29, 2006 at 05:05 AM (#2270631)
>Nettles is a grotesquely underrated player, and IMO, above the in-out line by a large enough margin so that there's room in the HoM for 3B's who weren't as good.

Still, Nettles has to get in line behind Molitor and Evans, at least, and maybe Bando (or, surely Bando for peak voters). And Nettles over Leach is absolutely dependent on a good timeline. I'm not sayin' Nettles isn't a candidate, it's just that I don't see how you could have him at the front of the line. I'm not sure Robin Ventura isn't a stronger candidate.
   49. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 29, 2006 at 05:06 AM (#2270633)
Actually, let's add in Evans and Boyer, I think those 4 are clearly the 'bubble' 3B, right?

Cey      10.5  9.6  9.2  9.1  9.0 8.9 7.1 7.0 6.6 6.2 3.9 3.5 2.9 2.0  0.9 0.4 -0.1
Nettles  10.7 10.2  8.9  8.4  8.2 7.9 7.4 6.8 6.2 5.9 5.6 4.5 3.6 3.3  2.4 2.4  2.2 1.2 0.9 0.4  0.0 
-0.3
Boyer    11.2 10.8 10.5 10.3 10.0 9.9 8.4 7.0 5.7 5.1 4.7 3.6 3.0 1.9 
-0.1
Evans    12.5 10.0  8.5  8.2  8.2 7.9 7.1 6.9 6.6 6.6 5.8 5.4 5.1 3.8  3.6 3.0  2.9 1.8 1.1 0.7 
-0.1
Bando     9.3  8.5  8.4  7.9  7.5 7.2 7.1 6.6 6.3 5.6 1.9 0.8 0.4 0.4  0.3 
   50. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 29, 2006 at 05:11 AM (#2270635)
Nettles only gets in line behind Bando if you don't count defense sunnyday . . . I'll go back and add Bando to the last list, but he pales in comparison.
   51. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: December 29, 2006 at 05:15 AM (#2270640)
I think Nettles over Leach is highly dependent on what you think of 3B (more important) and CF (much less important) defense in the deadball era.
   52. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: December 29, 2006 at 08:20 PM (#2270967)
BTW, it blows my mind that Graig Nettles is 62 years old - don't know why that jumped out at me. Because by extension that means I am not young anymore. Bummer.

But the good news is that you're still younger than Nettles. ; )
   53. Paul Wendt Posted: December 30, 2006 at 08:41 PM (#2271419)
But I will say that Cey does comparable favorably with the guys we currently have. Right now I would rank them

McGraw
Rosen
Leach
Elliot
Bando
Traynor

Cey is either #4 or 5 in that group. In the running, IOW.


I don't see how number 4 and 5 in that group of 7 are "in the running". Someone has estimated that 15 players will be elected, who are not among the 15 BBWAA classes 1993-2007. Several of those will be new eligibles whom the BBWAA killed off (Simmons, Evans, Trammell) or who linger on the BBWAA ballot (a la Dawson).


But I don't really see how Cey is any different. In terms of being consistent, I think Cey should merit serious consideration from anyone that was on Boyer's bandwagon.

hear, hear. I might have guessed that the Hall of Merit would elect Sutton, Leach and Santo. It's astonishing how much room there is: Groh, Hack, and Boyer; Wilson, Beckwith, and Moore; Pearce, Start, and Pike. (The last four are not 3Bmen, they simply contribute to the general point about room.)
   54. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: January 02, 2007 at 11:11 AM (#2272295)
I really don't see a case for Nettles--his batting averages were just too low to provide his teams a meaningful offensive boost from a corner spot. The power is nice and the defense was indeed great, but I see the gap between Nettles' and Cey's hitting as *far* greater than the gap between their fielding.
   55. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: October 22, 2007 at 04:06 PM (#2588789)
I'm mainly bumping this up because I was hugely amused by the comment right above this one. But also because after looking at it again, I still have Cey ahead of Nettles. There's a substantial gap between them on offense, and Cey's more OBP-heavy. Nettles is essentially league-average OBP, and that's not an artifact of his hang-around years.
   56. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: October 22, 2007 at 05:24 PM (#2588910)
HAHAHAH--yes, I've changed my tune. In January I was still just developing my system, and drawing very preliminary conclusions, many of which (such as #54) turned out to be seriously wrong!

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